Pharos-Tribune

December 27, 2013

LMH releases completed health needs assessment

Research finds need for easier access to care.

By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune
Pharos-Tribune

---- — Additional information and services promoting healthy lifestyle and easier access to healthcare and health education are needed in Cass County, a newly released health assessment indicates.

After a year of rigorous research, Logansport Memorial Hospital released the Cass County Community Health Needs Assessment on Thursday.

Some key areas of interest are easier access to care; chronic disease management and health screens; maternal, infant and child health and nutrition; and physical activity and weight, according to a press release from the hospital.

The community health needs assessment, which began in 2012, was completed to meet community needs, provide programs and comply with the Internal Revenue Service requirement for nonprofit hospitals to conduct assessments under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Vicki Byrd, vice president of planning and development, said.

The implementation plan includes strategies and the activities and both short- and long-term goals needed to meet them.

A few activities listed to improve access to care include developing patient materials at appropriate age and reading levels in English and Spanish and providing education to patients on how to access the healthcare system.

One activity meant to address chronic disease management and health screens is implementing the Medical Home Model, something that will be implemented after the first of the year, Byrd said.

Better Health of Cass County will be one of many partners to take on initiatives and strategies, Byrd said.

Through the study, health concerns of Cass County have been discovered along with how the community can collectively work together to address those needs, she said.

“This helps us have a better understanding as a whole community,”Byrd said. “It also helps to focus resources and prioritize needs.”

If a state hospital organization does not complete the community health needs assessment, the IRS will levy at $50,000 excise tax for any taxable year, the Pharos–Tribune previously reported.

The assessment also creates a blueprint for the possibility of receiving grant funds, Byrd.

The study, conducted by Professional Research Consultants, Inc., found a need for information and services promoting healthy lifestyles, allowing healthcare and health education to become easier to access.

Along with finding community needs, an implementation plan has been created and posted on the LMH website. Along with the implementation plan is a full report and the executive summary. They can be seen at http://www.logansportmemorial.org/pages/Community-Health-Needs-Assessment/.

Editor’s note: In future editions, the Pharos-Tribune will delve deeper into each category of the study and the planned implementation for each.